Sunday, January 1, 2012

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV Swatches

Hi all, and Happy New Year!

I took these pictures awhile back and never really got around to posting them... oops! Anyway, seeing as how Urban Decay's Book of Shadows IV has gone on sale from $64.00 to $44.00 on their website, I thought now might be a good time to post these! For those of you who haven't picked up this palette yet and are thinking about it because of the newly-slashed price, hopefully these swatches will help you decide if it's something you need to have or not!

The Urban Decay Book of Shadows have been criticized in the past for their bulky size, and this one is even bigger, housing a pop-up butterfly scene, a tiny keychain speaker that can be plugged into your phone or ipod (I've used it! It's not awful, but not great, either), 16 shades of eyeshadow, a full size 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion (black), a mini Primer Potion, and a mini Supercurl Curling Mascara. Also included are cards with QR codes for you to scan to pull up how-to videos on a mobile device. This is a cute idea, but I'd like to see these in addition to a booklet. Let's be honest here: the shadows are the star of the show, and they're what people buy the palette for, although I have to say I was pretty excited to have another full-size 24/7 Liquid liner.

As for the shadows themselves, you're getting a total of .48 ounces of product. That is roughly 9.5 regular Urban Decay eyeshadows, which retail for $17.00 each, making this  about $160 worth of eyeshadow for $44.00. Not bad, provided you like the colors and will use them!

Speaking of colors... The shades included are: (taken from the website) Baked (shimmering bright copper), Bender (shimmering dark mossy green), Blue Bus (bright blue w/ purple shimmer), Bust (taupe brown with subtle gray shimmer), Cobra (sooty black w/ golden shimmer), Crystal (light silvery blue w/ multi-dimensional shimmer), Gravity (deep vibrant purple w/ multi-dimensional glitter), Gunmetal (dark metallic silver w/ silver sparkle), Hijack (greyish green w/ blue and green shimmer), Lost (shimmering dark brown), Midnight Cowgirl (shimmering gold w/ gold sparkle), Midnight Rodeo (metallic medium brown w/ silver and gold glitter), Missionary (light taupe w/ pink shimmer), Sin (shimmering champagne), Skimp (shimmering ultra-light nude), Zephyr (shimmering off-white).

Here is the palette:

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

And what you see when you lift up the lid...

Inside the Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

And here are the goodies inside the drawer!

Here's a close-up of the shadows themselves:

I've swatched each column from top to bottom, so there are four groupings of four:

Here is the first, with the 24/7 liner in Perversion swatched next to the shadows.

Top to bottom: Blue Bus, Bender, Midnight Cowgirl, Bust

And the second column:

Top to bottom: Gunmetal, Gravity, Sin, Missionary

And the third column...

Top to bottom: Cobra, Lost, Midnight Rodeo, Skimp

And finally, the last column!

Top to bottom: Baked, Hijack, Crystal, Zephyr

As you can see, some of these are more pigmented than others; the shades that have glitter in them (Midnight Cowgirl, Midnight Rodeo, and Crystal) have the typical fallout issues that plague this Urban Decay formula, and some of these run remarkably sheer (Missionary, Crystal, Skimp). Now, honestly, when I use Missionary and Skimp, they don't feel sheer to me, just light. They're great for blending the bolder colors in their family in this palette without giving a super frosty look that some pale shades that are very pigmented or shimmery can impart. I do wish Crystal wasn't as sheer, though, because it is such a gorgeous light blue in the pan! It's also a possibility that you already own a number of shades in this collection, and maybe don't like the new shades enough to justify the purchase, but that's always something to consider with the UD palettes.

Do you need this? Maybe! It's bulky and you might end up with some doubles, but there are some really gorgeous shades in this collection. My favorites are Bust, Missionary, and Lost because they are versatile neutrals, but if you're a blue and green fan, I'm sure you'll find yourself falling for Hijack, Cobra, Blue Bus, and Bender, as they're all lovely colors. Aside from the shades I've mentioned specifically as being sheer or having fallout issues, most of these are the classic, velvety, pigmented UD formula we know and love.

You can find this discounted on the Urban Decay website here:,default,pd.html?start=5&cgid=12

Do you guys already own it? How do you like it? I don't find myself reaching for mine as often as I'd like, but every time I pull it out, I am impressed by the ability to do an entire eye-look with the tools provided; there are nice highlight colors, a liner, mascara, primer...  And not every shade is glittery or really bright, so you can do looks with several shadows from this set and not look like a clown! I hope Urban Decay will continue offering that type of range in their Book of Shadows in the future.


  1. I saw this was on discount on the website, but I'm probably going to pass. The colors look great, but I probably don't need anymore eyeshadows at this point. Thanks for the swatches and review!

  2. You are welcome! And you're right, if you have a sizable eyeshadow collection and none of these colors call to you specifically, it's probably not a collection you need to own!

  3. I would love to buy this now that its on sale,I like fun packaging.gravity,blue bus,cobra are so pretty.

  4. It's a really great deal for Urban Decay eyeshadows, if the colors are ones that you'll use! Let us know if you snag it!

  5. I received this palette for Christmas and am pretty excited about it. I haven't had the chance to use it yet, but I really love Bust, Missionary, and Crystal. It is a huge palette, I hope it's worth it's makeup drawer real estate :P

  6. Congratulations Lauren! Hopefully it earns its place in your makeup drawer! I love using Bust and Missionary with Sin, Lost, and/or Skimp for a purple-y nude eye. You should totally post a look using this palette once you get the lay of the land... (hint hint!) :P

  7. Great swatches! I love the colours but I am really put off by the sheer size of it!

  8. I can't say that I blame you, this thing is a monster! The colors are pretty, but I can definitely see the freakish size outweighing the pretty shades.


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